TES Maths ROTW: If the sun were a football...

Craig Barton
11th April 2016

TES Maths Resource of the Week

Resource title: If the sun were the size of a football...

Resource author: DavieBerg

What is it?

I find that units of measurement and standard form are two particularly painful topics to teach. Thankfully, this challenging resource provides a relevant and engaging vehicle through which to do that.

Pupils explore how we represent the size of the planets using a consistent scale; in this case, based around the sun being the size of a football.

From this hook, a wide variety of useful maths topics are covered. And you might just get some decent display work thrown into the mix as well!

How can it be used?

The author has kindly provided detailed notes and pictures explaining how they ran the activity in their school, but this could easily be a whole-class or even whole-year project.

Why not get other departments on board? The science department is an obvious link, but there's an opportunity to get PE involved by laying out a scale model of the solar system and getting students to sprint the light years between the planets.

Alternatively, this can be kept small and used as an interesting, theoretical look at the size of the planets and the reasons that standard form and scale are important in the real world.

Please note: if you do not have Active Inspire software installed, it can be downloaded for free from Promethean World, which will allow you to convert the slides into a PowerPoint presentation.


Craig Barton

Craig is a secondary maths teacher in the North of England.


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